Discovering Tantric love-making — maybe. I have had no formal training in the meditative processes of tantra.
As a shaman perhaps, I was given a gift by spirit, which became our gift.
In 2008 when I was with my younger lover something wonderful happened:
Having made-love and we both climaxed one time we were resting in the intimate afterglow of loving intimacy. But I hadn’t withdrawn my penis from inside her. After a while it became erect again.
I noticed / felt my sexual energy rise up along her spine to her crown chakra and felt it come into me. The energy that had blended with her energy passed down my spine electrifying my body as it went into my genitals and passed back into her.
Her body shuddered. I felt it. She orgasmed.
I felt the energy rise within her and cycle even faster through her and then through me.
She gasped and shuddered with ecstasy.
Then again and again.
And again. I received the bouquet of her of her bliss and was showered with her epiphanies. My love grew deeper and richer for her. Her love grew around me as if it were a substance — like a rainbow light.
“I can’t take it” she stuttered and my whole body orgasmed.
I did not have a genital orgasm- my whole body, heart and mind were present as she too flowered into ecstasy one more time. Our spirits enveloped each other and we were one.
We lingered in bed. We were completely open to one another.
Some time later she said she was hungry. “Dinner at the Thai place?” I smiled at her. “Great.” We got dressed and walked into town.
I looked at her lovingly, our eyes met.
“Stop doing that?”
“I had another one.”
“I wasn’t doing anything, well except for feeling love for you.”
The bigger frame: In 2025 a 6,000-year cycle comes to an end; namely the Kali Yuga. This is not an abrupt end like the slamming of a car door. There is a 300-year transition period before the next cycle of 2,700 years begins: The Ascending Dwapara Yuga.
The Kali Yuga named for the Hindu Goddess Kali – she is the Goddess of Time, Power, Destruction and Creation. In her earliest of appearances, she is known as “the destroyer of evil forces” (see link below). Much like Pluto, Greek God of the Underworld representative of the Phoenix – he is a symbol of destruction followed by creation, Kali is similar.
We need only look at the world around us to see the separation and divisive self-centeredness that is current in-control of the world in this dominant hierarchy to realize that we are in the final stages of the Ascending Kali Yuga – a time of destruction before rebirth.
March 11, 2020 to March 21, 2020 Saturn sits at the last degree of Capricorn 29 degrees
Straight data:Decision making is slow or even frozen with extraordinary time being spent weighing possible actions to take. Negative karma of the patriarchy being stuck in time and erring on the side of inaction could be the norm especially for the United States.
Astro Tech:Saturn in astrology is about time and the constraints of time. Because Saturn is exalted in Capricorn (rules Capricorn) it belongs to the male patriarchal tradition. The constraints of time within the Saturnian frame is the authority for discipline, hard work, focus, and established traditions. There is an implication of judgment, the wisdom of old age implicit in the ways of Saturn as well as austerity especially in terms of economics and money. It has also been termed the planet of karma – lessons, what goes around comes around.
Any planet at 29 degrees is one in a crisis. With Saturn at 29 degrees think of all the negative attributes being crammed into the 29th degree and with regard to Saturn / Capricorn it is the negative karma of the patriarchy being indecisive.
March 19th Spring Equinox
Straight data:A feeling of hope.
Astro Tech: 8:49 pm Sun moves into Aries, Moon (emotion) in Aquarius
On March 21 at 9 pm to July 1st
Straight data: If lockdowns are made worldwide lives will be saved – duh, and once that occurs the Coronavirus may mutate out of existence* and /or allow many humans to develop a natural immunity. The economy will show signs of recovery.
*or may appear to go dormant.
Astro Tech: Saturn moves into Aquarius and returns to Capricorn on July 1, 2020:
First Week of July to December 16th
Straight data: look for civil unrest. Populist movements could butt heads and challenge government authority. A mutant strain of Coronavirus could portend a 2nd outbreak.
Astro Tech: Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn play tag by blending energies. Uranus supports revolt.
The Trees are my friends who speak in a language (not English, nor a human language) that is too slow for us fast moving humans to perceive. It’s more than likely that we have all had opportunities and may have felt the presence of trees.
reconnecting with the sacred inside us through a personal relationship with a tree
The Japanese practice of “forest bathing” an immersion in the woods or forest is a cleansing experience. Certainly, I have noticed the peace that the forest affords. I have experienced it in myself and observed the outward manifestation in others in the forest. [Amongst others there is a stream of conversation that goes on and on. The talk abrupt stops as they have detoxed enough and notice the trees and are quiet much like the quiet of a church service.]
Upon entering the forest or woods I automatically dip into the stream of consciousness that many carry with us whether that comes in the form of an inner dialogue, music and/or visual images. For me it’s mostly visual images sometimes with dialogue or narration that is the streaming junk of my daily life. Then it stops.
Wow, there are Trees Here!
When it does stop I notice my surroundings. Peace emerges and pervades my being as I stand near a copse of trees on the path in the woods. Sometimes when I stop moving and the stream of conscious ceases I feel the presence of large boulders, tall trees, a stream or brook, maybe a small waterfall. I feel washed clean by the powers of nature.
feeling of being grounded and connected to Earth; our shared home.
There they are – these standing ones whether they be Douglas firs, pines, redwoods, the deciduous aspens, the Japanese maples, and some oaks. They stand and wait for a human to make contact. Once contact is made and we allow ourselves – mostly our minds to slow to the patient levels of the trees we can begin the feel the peace trees exude. As I slow further I may merge my spirit with the spirit that the tree surrounds its body and we share a space together. In that space there are many non-verbal answers and somatic emotional states. One is a feeling of being grounded and connected to Earth; our shared home.
peace becomes evident and the love slows me down into a being state
As I continue to open my senses of touch, directionality, groundedness, sight and heart-centered emotion I feel embraced and accepted by my friend and friends – tree(s). Deeper – even before “the hug” there can be a singular song of a tree or a choir of song by a family of trees. The peace becomes evident and the love slows me down into a being state. I may temporarily slip out of ego into being and experience my place amongst the animals and trees in that local community of nature in which I have chosen to be a member. Ah such sweetness…
we can begin to become a co-equal member of a forest
I have made a bond with the Redwood species; and deciduous Sycamores and Maples both individually and as species. In these bonds I have asked the trees to hold spiritual or plasma energy for me. This is a technique for inner – spiritual work. Often, we receive an epiphany or a “high” when engaging in spiritual work there is an automatic tendency in us as humans to blow off the energy by “ego-talking” to others about our experiences. The use of accumulators becomes important in spiritual / inner work as a way to deposit some of our energy in a tree or group of trees. Later we can make a “withdrawal” on the “interest accrued” as long as we don’t withdraw all the energy we have “deposited” in the tree. It’s one way to stay silent about on-going inner work without blowing it off by talking with others about it. Another way to stay silent in addition to asking a tree to deposit or give energy to him/her/it is to make an agreement with oneself to pay attention to our breath instead of talking (and blowing off energy).
Its so easy to forget that trees are beings too
In asking a tree to participate in acting as an “accumulator” we can begin to become a co-equal member of a forest and /or woodland community. We become members of an ecological local community and remember our roots to help cultivate an intimate relationship with Earth on a local level. Its so easy to forget that trees are beings too and treat them as objects for use in a soulless society of use and waste that’s disconnected from the sacred.
Here is the beginning of reconnecting with the sacred inside us through a personal relationship with a tree or a community of trees in the context of a larger local community in which each member plays a part.
What a wondrous world to uncover and honor the sacred.
Ordinary waking consciousness emanates from ego and attachment. Ego – the “I” that is oneself is attached to everything. This is the way of the outer world. We forget about our “inner world” and come to believe that ego and attachment are all that is. In other words, ego, language and thought is caught up in attachment.
I’m sure you have heard or read that meditation is about quieting the mind. I can only write to the meditation that I know: Vipassanā Meditation or Insight Meditation. This kind of meditation works with the breath and helps to quiet the mind. It takes practice to quiet the mind as many who practice meditation already know.
The mind creates what is known as a stream of consciousness which includes all matter of attachments – thoughts, memories, ideas, fantasies and so on. Anyone who has daydreamed in a classroom, or in boring business meetings falls into the stream of consciousness. The stream is constantly flowing so that when we stop being present our attention falls into it and is taken away by the stream. The draw of the stream is one of attachment – a kind of addiction so common that it is not referred to as an addiction. We have accepted that attachment / addiction to thoughts, language, fantasies, identity, status and so on is all there is, so we never come to realize that all attachments are distractions that form a recycling whirlpool that eats itself. The distraction is one that leads away from peace and happiness. On a deeper level attachment is the distraction from oneness with all beings.
On my first Vipassanā Meditation retreat over 35 years ago the facilitator, Bhante aka the Venerable Dharmawara Mathahera, a 92-year-old Cambodian Buddhist monk sent us to meditate on our own. We had spent four days in group meditation.
It was a muggy and overcast day. I spread my blanket on the ground and sat. I began to notice my breath, in and out. Flies landed on my bare skin, tickling the hairs of my arms, and I laughed aloud. Mosquitoes landed on me and did not bite me. Deeper into the meditation, with my eyes closed, I felt presences near me. I opened my eyes a slit and saw a squirrel, a rabbit and a skunk sitting in a semicircle in front of me. My thought was, “this is normal.” I continued to meditate.
When it was done I felt at peace with the world.
The Current World
The world of attachment is filled with divisiveness and antagonistic rivalries; as you may have noticed. This is to be expected in the cycle of history we find ourselves within.
According to the scholar – Bidhu Dev Misra we are near the end of the Ascending Kali Yuga. It’s ends in 2025 and is followed by a 300-year transition period before the Ascending Dwapara Yuga begins (seen End Notes for more information about the Yugas).
Kali is the goddess/god of destruction – a phoenix that destroys itself to rise from the ashes. Opposite the 6,000 years of the Descending and Ascending Kali Yugas are the 6,000 years of the Satya Yugas – an age of oneness where there is no ego, no religion, no money… only peace, harmony and oneness.
Characteristic of the age of destruction is both a fear of “the end” as characterized by rabid divisive thoughts and actions as a way to obliterate the end by hanging on to a short-term power, a short-term quarterly dividend – in short, the greed and lust for power. Ego, attachment and thinking are in a whirlpool of oppositional thinking that seeks its own destruction. This might be funny except for a denial and resistance to the existential threat of the climate crisis.
The Inner World
Through Vipassanā Meditation a quieting of the mind can begin to manifest. Ego is surrendered in the moment and attachment is sometimes released in the space between an inhalation of breath and its exhalation. A regular practice of meditation can allow the ego to float and attachment’s roots to be loosened.
A wondrous aspect of the inner world is revealed as ego and attachment are released. A profound peace and simple happiness become apparent. Thought clears, consciousness expands, and time ceases to exist.
This “world” beyond ego and attachment is the beginning of the continuum of enlightenment. It lasts all too briefly as the worlds of ego, linear time and attachment come into claim the vestiges of enlightenment scantily clad through memory.
The Current World as seen from the Inner World
By freeing ourselves from time and attachment, the world of the Kali Yuga – the current world becomes evident. All thought in this epoch arises from attachment and as a result is not original thought. Attached thoughts swirl from a stream (as in the stream of consciousness) into a whirlpool (or black hole) to obliterate thought for the increasing enslavement of humankind.
There is no “we”. All are separate, divided into smaller camps of “us” and “them” living in the houses of anger, rage, hatred, envy and greed as reflected in:
statistical studies measuring a nation divided as much as in the times of the US Civil War,
science and technology as in reducing to understand, and
predatory capitalism as in dividing goods and services into smaller amounts – conquering and destroying smaller businesses in favor of the most profit, the most money and the least or no taxes.
Thought and action is divided into the dyad of good versus evil, right versus wrong and so on with no middle ground of reconciliation, governance and/or compromise.
The action of the dyad is choking itself and headed towards self-destruction characteristic of the Kali Yuga time cycle.
If we are to survive climate crisis as a species then as individuals we could choose:
Beginning the day with a 30 to 50-minute mediation.
Using the meditation as an anchor throughout the day to remind us to choose kindness, compassion and right (no-acting out) anger to right wrongs for the good of all.
Political Actions whether that be donating / volunteering time, money as a protest against excluding people from equal participation in a democratic process
Due to the enormous amounts of money contributed by billionaires and corporations to co-op the government (US) we as a people must take back our government to save it from dictatorial types and re-establish a democracy.
This can be done from a compassion stance where neutral ground can be established – once again – to govern as opposed to rule.
Trying to explain consciousness from a neurobiological frame is one of reductionistic directionality. This discipline and ordinary thought looks to the brain as the seat of consciousness. A human perspective quite naturally seeks to reduce in order to explain and this is natural from the ego perspective. Ego and its physical counterpart – the brain is viewed as the center of consciousness just as it was once thought that Earth was the center of the solar system – all planets and the Sun revolved around Earth.
Language reflects and channels the desire to reduce to explain. Our basic language structure is based on concepts of nouns or subjects / objects and verbs or actions. Every sentence has a beginning, middle and end denoting linear space-time. In short language works with separateness and togetherness in a dialectic frame. It’s difficult to think of a whole without the frame of its opposite the parts. In other words, we most often think of ourselves and the world outside ourselves as separate in order to establish an identity. Identity is based on a dyad or the “me” and the “not me”. Dualistic thinking creates separateness within the larger consciousness. However, from a perspective of Oneness consciousness is everywhere and permeates everything and the spaces between everything, and therein lies the rub [see end note 1]. Consciousness is space-time. It’s impossible to grasp this from an ego or ordinary level of consciousness. This concept of consciousness is bigger than any concept. To begin to understand the locus of consciousness we must surrender to mystery.
Human Life as a Transceiver
The human brain is a transceiver of consciousness. We receive and process information from a larger vibration gestalt. We send information within our brains and outside ourselves to our perceived reality to grow within the gestalt. Sometimes we are able to transcend the boundaries of the gestalt beyond the epoch in which we find ourselves within.
Think larger / bigger:
Suppose you thought of yourself as a consciousness with a multiple-lives in which to express yourself and grow over millennium. The body you’re wearing now along with an ego shaped to fit the current world is only a costume that your spirit is using to grow and increase your level of consciousness as well as a Larger Consciousness belonging to all. Of course, my view point expresses the larger in terms of a separateness / oneness duality because this is where my ego sits [See end note 2].
This life over many millions of years and across many worlds is a linear space-time conception of an evolving consciousness growing towards transcendental enlightenment. However, when we come from the present – an extremely large expanded present moment that includes all of space-time, then past and future lives are happening simultaneously and we are accessing them as needed for our evolution into higher consciousness. These two viewpoints are ways of looking at reality, the latter being more easily understood because it corresponds with a linear space-time. The second proposition is more difficult to comprehend because we are unfamiliar with “remembering a future”.
Epochal Time Cycles
When we factor in a spiraling method of conscious evolution with various cosmologies such as the Mayan, Hopi, Aztec or the Yugas (from Veda texts) then time repeats itself in an effort of inclusiveness to bring everyone to the doorstep of higher consciousness.
Yuga Time Cycles appear below under corrected mathematical computations. Tradition Yuga representations and updated Yuga time cycles is annotated in the notes. Each of the Ascending and Descending Yugas is 2,700 years long with a 300-year transition or cusp period between each Yuga – at the beginning and end of each Yuga [see end note 3]:
The Ascending and Descending Satya Yugas – 3,000 including the 300-year transitional period or cusp years each or 6,000 years combined. These two Yugas are the top of the evolutionary cycle. The Ascending Satya Yuga began in 15676 BC, the transition period began in 12976 BC and the Descending Satya Yuga began in 12676 BC
The Descending Treta Yuga follows the Satya Yuga in its descent cycle plus transition/cusp years beginning at 9676 BC and 300 years.
The Descending Dwapara Yuga follows the Treta Yuga in its descent cycle plus transition/cusp years beginning at 6676 BC and 300 years.
The Descending Kali Yuga follows the Dwapara Yuga in its descent cycle plus transition/cusp years are at the bottom of the cycle beginning on 3676 BC and 300 years. The Ascending Kali Yuga begins at 676 BC and ends 2025 CE followed by 300 years of transition;
The Ascending Dwapara Yuga follows the Ascending Kali Yuga on 2325 CE followed by 300 years transition / cusp
The Ascending Treta Yuga follows the Ascending Dwapara Yuga beginning on 2325 CE ending in 5025 CE followed by 300 years transition / cusp
The cycle begins again with the Ascending Satya Yugas in 5325 CE. The cycle doesn’t start over from the old beginning; it goes in an upward cycle in increments. When we add Spirit Ages to the cycles from Baby or Infant Spirits to The Oldest of souls (Spirit Ages) then cycles become much more complex [see end note 4].
At the levels of the Satya Yugas there is no government, no crime, no money, no ownership of property, men, women and peoples of all genders are equal. The planet operates from a place of oneness whose chief emotions are kindness, compassion and love.
Vegetables, fruits and nuts in the most abundant variations can be picked from plants and trees and eaten. There is no need for the preparation of food or the cooking of foods. Emotions, thoughts and bodily sensations are able to be completed because they arise from a state of oneness and reflect the oneness back to itself so that individuals can leave the Yuga cycle all together and attain transcendent enlightenment without the need for the death of the body and instead be eaten by light.
Choice, decision and will are free, meaning that they are not based on systems of divisiveness or dysfunction (as it is now) so all acts spring from a creative consciousness that permeates all beings. [We often think of beings as biological but in this frame all that is non-biological are also beings.] The persons making acts of choice, decision or will do so from a creative place based on nothing. Negative emotions may exist and are expressed without judgement, blame or projection; they are expressed by persons in a way where responsibility is assumed within the expression and not acted-out as it may be in the world we know now.
Empathy is the norm and telepathy flourishes.
In each of the other Yugas; Treta, Dwapara and Kali, separation from the oneness is experienced with greater frequency. The Kali Yuga is the opposite of the Satya Yuga. Kali is the female / male goddess / god of death and destruction. In the Kali cycle negative emotions are expressed negativity. They enter into the consciousness at large and are manifested in lower planetary vibrational locales as death by violence, murder and wars. People do not take responsibility for themselves or one another through the ways of compassion and love. They see themselves as separate. Their systems of government, hierarchies of social organization, education, money, commerce, science, religion are based on fears, separateness, oppression and objectification. Its peoples are identified or attached to the outer world of appearances and they have ignored the inner world that is connected to Spirit (spirit that is linked in all beings).
While there is a possibility of free will in a Kali Yuga cycle it is highly unlikely that true freedom will be achieved for the majority of the people. Vague trace memories of the Satya Yuga exist and are translated into illusory states of being where separateness and oneness are believed to exist harmoniously, but from a state of separateness. This creates a fragmented existence where ego reigns supreme and madness (mental illness) abounds out of which violence, war, death and destruction happen continuously. The longevity of life in the Satya Yugas are drastically shortened in the Kali Yugas.
Secret or hidden knowing (different from knowledge gleaned from books and non-Masters often called secondary sources) is passed down through each epoch through an oral tradition replete within indigenous cultures and in the Master-Student relationship. It is through initiation rites of passage and/or within Master-student relationships where elements of the Satya Yuga or transcendent enlightenment may be worked towards and achieved by older souls (Older Spirit Ages).
The Kali Yuga Opportunity
Many people who have inhabited all the epochs from Satya to Kali Yugas feel blessed to have reincarnated to this current cycle of the Ascending Kali Yuga and its cusp or transitionary period. Those born between 1931 and the present may be part of the movement between epochs, change agents reincarnated from the any one of the last transformational times of:
12676 BC beginning of the Descending Satya Yuga
9676 BC beginning of the Descending Treta Yuga
6676 BC beginning of the Descending Dwapara Yuga
3676 BC beginning of the Descending Kali Yuga and
976 BC to the end of the Ascending Kali Yuga 6 years from now
2025 CE beginning of the cusp period before the Ascending Dwapara Yuga (300 years)
When a summer solstice occurs, there is a cusp period on either side of the change where daylight is increasing by only seconds leading up to the change and is decreasing only by seconds after the change. The 300 year cusp or transition between Yugas is analogous.
The opportunity for individual spiritual growth and the growth of Cosmic Consciousness is greater in the face of this kind of adversity. Working with releasing attachment and identification helps to create energy and the transformation of suffering into energy /light.
More later on the transformation of suffering into light…
The locus of consciousness is the energy that is everywhere. The human brain is a transceiver of consciousness both in building new neural pathways within the physical structures of the brain and body while sending mediated communications to other humans. We receive information from the multiverse and send variations of the information to other humans.
The nature of how our transceiver brains operates is dependent on the vibration of the current epoch of time. The Descending and Ascending Kali Yugas are kind of death that is happening to the human species. We – as a species – are separate from ourselves focused on happiness based on achievement along a linear time line. We have forgotten that we are beings of light wearing the costume of this era. The focus of the Kali Yuga is separation from our divinity. The light is us – resides at our central core – transcends all nationalities, religions, race, gender, economic and social hierarchies and so on… But our focus has been on our differences. The nature of thought which is – for the most part recycled based on separation and divisiveness is not original thought.
The good news is that many of us are awakening to the light within us, quieting our minds from the stream of consciousness that belongs to the Kali Yuga of garbage-in and garbage-out to make sacred space within us to access a kind of consciousness based on nothingness. When the mind is freed of the garbage of our continuous stream of consciousness there is the miracle of creativity arising that emerges from the seeming nothingness.
A walk in the forest assists us in clearing the recycled thinking we carry with us always. Sitting meditation and its practice in daily life is one way our essential self (the light) can break through ego into a world we co-create.
In quantum realities there is no space between objects that isn’t already connected via electromagnetic energy, light (photons), atoms, sub-atomic particles, quantum phenomena, gravity, or by some other force. The “space” between our out-spread arms for example is packed with sub-atomic particles and energies which can be perceived as particles or waves depending how our point-of-view. We are both observers and participants in the quantum world implied from an ego perspective where we co-create reality within an infinite consciousness and/or multiverse. This all pervasive and inclusive phenomena is a cosmic consciousness that is reflected into human beings and realized by them in smaller or larger frames.
How do I know this – or How have I come to know this? I have passed through initiation cycles. I have been and am in Master-Student relationships. Full-bodied experiences of body, mind and emotion (or 3rd eye – thought, heart chakra – emotion / love and 2nd chakra or chi – the locus of the brain of the physical body) all combined as well as a proclivity based on a rent in time/space when I was four years old where I was exposed to inter- and multi-dimensional worlds. Much later in life I gained access to the worlds outside time. Early wounding is only one possible way of gaining access to the “other” worlds. The quest for truth and a drive towards discovering destiny creates pathways to initiation and developing skills from talents. Science is scarcely catching up to those with “knowing”.
Most people familiar with reincarnation and the age of spirits within a lifetime refer to infant/ baby, young, mature and old spirits as souls. While for the sake of familiarity I have included both soul and spirit interchangeably. Most people believe they have souls. However, the majority of people on the planet save for some Masters and Bodhisattvas do not have completed souls. We have temporary light bodies. When our physical bodies pass – die, the light we carry within us, our temporary light bodies are deposited into the soul body. When the soul’s body is filled with enough light we have free choice. We are free to release ourselves from the wheel of reincarnation or voluntarily return to planet earth as an old soul. Old souls can choose any path; however, all choices arise from love, compassion and a service to humanity to relieve suffering and a greater possibility for transcendental enlightenment for the individual and for all.
Having extricated myself from the river of grief (and now on a boat floating on it)* I’ve also noticed its smudge is everywhere. Having done a small bit of work on my relationship to grief I see it now as slightly separate from me. There are few people who are completely free of grief’s smudge, though through denial we like to think that we are. It’s only those who are working on being present that may have overcome grief’s longer-term effects.
In the hierarchical epoch of the patriarchy everyone is in a state of grief or loss
Many become fully immersed in the river of grief and never fully release it, but think that we have done so. It’s more likely that we live it’s smudge without knowing its stuck or smeared on us and we carry it with us everywhere. We’ve resigned ourselves to it, accepted it and cognitively reframed grief as a fact of life to assist in our survival.
In the hierarchical epoch of the patriarchy everyone is in a state of grief or loss throughout the life span. Only those who have achieved a modicum of mastery or a state of transcendental enlightenment may have overcome the savagery of grief’s toll.
Symptoms from the smudge of grief:
Longing for / romanticizing the old days and angry about current life in juxtaposition to the old days. Anger becomes a way of life possibly oscillating between grief (sadness), fear and anger. Attachment to the old romanticized “past” to the point of putting the brakes on politically and a desire to return to the promise of simpler times.
Giving up or trading in on simple happiness in the present for a perfectionist idealized past or future.
Addicted to a substance outside ourselves (not drugs or alcohol per se) that we believe will make us happy and feel secure (more money, better job, etc.). Existential addiction is about filling a hole inside us that has grief as one of its contributing emotions.
Rationalizing and compartmentalization of grief experiences. We often unconsciously model our expressions of grief based on our parents’ behaviors, attitudes and beliefs. The greater the intellectualization / fearfulness of “weaker” emotion states such as vulnerable emotion states – crying when sad, or frustrated then the more shame and constriction may become part of the grief process often truncating the process.
We often have expectations that the stages of grief happen “in-order” one time and “we’re done” with this.
I’ve seen many people in mid-life 40s to 60s (possibly younger) where grief is interrupted – a person shuts down their grief process and gives up on their inner world collapsing into their parents’ belief systems partially or whole-heartedly. It is at this time that they begin to romanticize their past and adopt old-world belief systems to cope with change.
For the people that allow for grief or any emotion such as love or joy to come and go they have loosened their attachment to past and present experiences and can face the fear of change in a less rigid fashion. However due to our ego we are all subject to attachments that grief and/or loss creates to one degree or another.
Loss is an intrinsic part of our lives.
Grief is closely allied with attachment. The very nature of being human is an identification to an idea, a person, a relationship – in short to the “stuff” of life. Attachment is the foundation of identity and memory is its tool. Attachment is at the root of unnecessary suffering. The greater the attachment to a person, wife/husband/partner, a child/son/daughter, a family, a community; a job, to an idea, to a belief and so on the more grief surrounds the loss. As humans we are all programmed to avoid feelings of loss to one degree or another based on our identity and beliefs.
Humans cannot bear loss.
Loss is an intrinsic part of our lives. Some loss we choose, such as quitting a job or relocating, this doesn’t seem so bad because we feel in control of the nature of the loss. Nevertheless, we still feel it. Deciding to move out of a relationship and although this is a loss we control it can break our heart. Other losses go deeper. The loss of a loved one through death is one that immediately comes to mind. When we experience early childhood trauma such as mental, physical, spiritual and/or sexual abuse by a parent or relatives perhaps this is the most pernicious grief of all. A parent with whom we feel love perpetuates an act of sexual abuse or worse. There is the love and there’s the violation, the confusion and the grief. This is loss and grief based on intimate attachments.
Loss and grief have become systemic in an increasingly divisive world of the hierarchical system of the patriarchy. In this kind of world there are winners and losers. The winners appear to be the super-rich and the powerful who sometimes even without knowing it oppress those without money and/or power. Many are driven to become winners through achievement and there is nothing wrong with this. It becomes insular and selfish when “others” who may be termed as losers through attributes of laziness, stupidity and are therefore cast out of the privileges of the winner-loser competition. Those deemed to be unworthy of playing the winner loser game are the invisible people, the poor, the people in prison, the homeless, women, minorities, immigrants, the list goes on; under the heel of racism, sexism, ageism, leftism for example. The class system in the USA has always been apparent to those left out. The struggling middle-classes bear the brunt of the heel of oppression by the rich by accepting less wage parity, while clinging to the myth of “work hard and you’ll succeed”. The winners are also losers because of attachment to and /or the addiction in this situation because of the need for more power, more money, more fame. There is never enough. Slavery to “more” makes the so-called winners, losers on an endless wheel of acquiring “more”.
our birthright is happiness and enlightenment
Humans cannot bear loss. Addiction is a prime example of how loss is unbearable. When therapies focus on what’s in the way of a healthy lifestyle in order to assist with healing an addiction this leads to an inevitable confrontation with loss. Looking at loss in this way is emotionally overwhelming. Healing the addictive process through a focus on obstacles fails. We can’t bear loss. This spans the gambit between addictive substances and relationships. In order to confront loss and the grief we feel from loss, we must replace the loss with something positive. When we focus on the positive replacement of the loss in present time then loss can be slowly ameliorated.
For example: I chose to breath cleaner air when I weaned my way off of smoking cigarettes. The clutching, grabbing neediness in me began to fade. It’s been 37 years since I chose to breathe cleaner air instead of inhaling smoke from cigarettes. That was easy compared to the heartbreaking work of releasing grief from the wounds of incest.
Underneath loss and grief is love. Love holds all other emotions. I also remember the words of Malidoma Somē – grief is the most common human emotion.
Attachment can only be released for a very short time.
Grief is the most common emotion because our lives appear to be about loss. As children of Western Civilization, we a trained to look outside ourselves for happiness. Even in the US The Declaration of Independence we are encouraged to push for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We don’t necessarily see that our birthright is happiness and enlightenment and that we are peeling away the illusion that prevent us from feeling it. We assume that feelings of fulfillment, peace and enlightenment are “over there” to pursue.
Corporal life is temporary, life of spirit transcends death. There is small love and big love, neither of which can be compared with the other. Small love may feel big when we have a partner with whom we are bonded and they pass away, cheat, or betray us and/or themselves. Big love will always hold a connection with one that has passed that seemingly impenetrable boundary of death. The longing may be excruciating and unbearable, staying present and reaching out to friends and professionals for help is one step in staying present. It’s not the only path.
Emotional maturity (EM) can be characterized as being able to hold contradictory emotions in awareness without a strong attachment to either emotional state and feel okay or neutral about our self. Cultivating a witness self leads to emotional maturity through suspending judgement and observing ourselves and our behaviors.
Attachment can only be released for a very short time. When we think or say “I” ego returns to claim an experience that the witness has observed. That is not a bad thing it is only the way of attachment. The witness may observe our being feeling grief and joy simultaneously. This is a paradox to be sure.
Anger serves a purpose as a defense against immediate threats in present time. The emotion is often produced in conjunction with fear. Fear is experienced and is often followed directly by an acting-out anger response. Boys and men are more accustomed to this way of behaving because it is condoned and often encouraged by the fabric of society – namely patriarchal norms.
The way many children were raised in the 1950s and early sixties by fathers’ who had returned from WWII with undiagnosed PTSD was through a reign of terror often accompanied by addictive problems to alcohol, drugs and anger/rage. The children of those parents were subjected to constant anger and as adults have often adopted maladaptive patterns of chronic anger.
When terror is unleashed on a woman or on children repeatedly over long periods of time – fear, anger and depression may be the result. In addition to an emotional stance in the world many of these women and children many somaticize some or all of these emotions. The emotions become tensions in the musculature and skeletal structure of the body and are sequestered from the conscious mind.
The nature of most humans is to avoid discomfort whether it manifests as physical, emotional, mental and/or spiritual pain. In so-called developing and developed nations an immediate response to pain is to take a pill for it. “Make it go away.” “Fix me.” “Stop this now!” “I can’t stand this any longer” are some of the responses to physical and emotional pain or discomfort. Pill popping, alcohol consumption, marijuana smoking, crack/cocaine use, and any kind of addictive process is an effort to escape the effects of immediate pain. I am not advocating the non-use of responsible herbal or pharmacological methods of reducing or managing extremes of pain I am only pointing out a pattern to behavior regarding pain.
Some cultures especially indigenous peoples treat pain in a different manner than in the “Western Post-Modern” cultures. Explorations into pain can sometimes produce a release of it that can be freeing as well as act as a release from immediate pain.
I followed the role-model of my father’s rageful behavior while being terrorized by it simultaneously. I vented rage at my sisters’ cats by chasing them under the couch and hissing at them; I felt so angry. It was the only safe place I could vent the rage I felt. For many years I clenched my jaw because “I felt determined” as other people were to reach their goals. I incorrectly assumed that because other people had their mouths closed that they were clenching their jaws too, and were also determined. It wasn’t until the mid 1980s that I realized that these were incorrect assumptions and that I felt extremely angry all the time.
Like any addict the rage would go underground until it erupted into a tantrum usually against a significant love relationship with whoever I was with at the time. I began to work with these feelings and worked to let them go as they arose. As I worked traumas from my childhood were revealed to me. I worked through these too as best I could until I reached a plateau.
Recently I have come to see that triggered anger/rage that arises both from awareness of injustices and from chronic anger has served to keep me isolated from others. As a child I was extremely isolated. And now I have been isolated (and stuck) in part by choice. However I have started to work with the chronic anger anchored in my body in order to uncover and release the profound grief of past traumas.
I have been preparing for this voyage into the release where I have kept myself separate from others and as a result have been stuck in a place of miserable safety.
Part of the preparation for this deep grief release work was a letting go of a reflexive need to comment on every post where my friends were venting their anger and frustrations on our so-called “president”. I didn’t want to participate in my addictive anger /rage venting that felt fruitless to make any real changes. The eliciting of the anger/frustration/rage and grief due to the actions of the president felt like I was allowing myself to be:
Pulled down to his level of nastiness
Giving him attention on an emotional level that feels like time not well spent (even though he is not witness to my outrage).
Feeding my addictive behaviors including a need to be right at the expense of making others wrong
Isolating myself from those that – mildly disagree with me to the extreme of people who vehemently disagree and maybe even hate me.
Isolating myself from feelings that bridge a gap between peoples
Stuck in a familiar cycle of known misery.
Choosing not to participate in “president” bashing is one way to look for more effect means of protest and there are many ways in the nuts and bolts world of emails to representatives, supporting candidate campaigns and so on… I try to funnel my outrage into useful means of action, and I am human I sometimes succumb to bashing and raging.
On Saturday evening November 16, 2019 while working on releasing anger and grief something happened. I welcomed the memory of a physically healthy emotionally fractured seven-year-old me back into my body where I could protect him and he could help me heal metaphorically. There was much tenderness love and connectedness in the healing metaphor. I felt my body open spontaneously and released compassion towards a friend on social media and then go beyond towards others in pain and suffering. Love was breathed in and out.
I didn’t know whether my friend received the compassion but to release it felt good to me and hopefully good for him. And hope it was good for all the others it may have reached. The connection was strong and solid. The act of connecting on many levels was wondrous and highly recommended.
The inconjunct or quincunx is a 150 degree angle. When two inconjunct angles focus on a planet or asteroid approaching from opposite directions and joined by a sextile angle of 60 degrees. This is called a Yod. When multiple Yods are configured in a chart in a certain manner a Star of David can manifest. This is an uncommon event. Below is a Star of David absent one sextile of a 5 basic triangular yods (duplicated x1 to make 6 yods).
Mars / Juno and Moon inconjunct Saturn
Social/Political – Yod or a “finger of god” fated aspect of great power, could represent a power struggle of an explosive nature that is both passionate and stubborn with breakthrough elements of heart-oriented action
Personal – Yod or a “finger of god” fated aspect of great power could represent a breakthrough in a power struggle at work or in your personal life. Get in-touch with your emotions utilizing passion and balanced emotions to confront authority.
Neptune and Saturn inconjunct Mars / Juno
Social/Political – Yod or a “finger of god” fated aspect of great power, when the power is balanced great advances can be made, when a controlling obsessive-compulsive is present then the destiny element of this ‘finger of god” may be blocked deception may be used to seize power illicitly. On the higher plain high ideals and authority/accomplishment can motivate actions that combine with partnership energies to breakthrough illusions of deceptions to bring darker or shadowy elements to justice.
Personal – Yod or a “finger of god” fated aspect of great power. Today avoid using mind-altering drugs or alcohol as they may help cement illusions and delusions and allow you to feel deceived by anyone you have ceded power to or are in a struggle with, this could happen between friends or in a close intimate relationship creating strife and conflict on the lower vibrational end. On a higher plane when the energies are balanced then the powers of crisp spiritual mysteries and an ownership of your own story can allow you a feeling of divine safety in actions especially those related to cooperative partnerships.
Neptune and Vesta inconjunct Pallas Athena
Social/Political – Yod or a “finger of god” fated aspect of great power. On the higher vibrational side this could indicate a spiritual base service coupled with a driving commitment to champion the oppressed and/or vulnerable. On the lower side this could portend use of dark energies with the use of drugs or powerful illusions to punish the oppressed and/or vulnerable peoples in the world.
Personal – Yod or a “finger of god” fated aspect of great power. This a good day to avoid the use of mind altering drugs or alcohol. Practice mindfulness – remember yourself and your breath as you ground and work on being of service to the vulnerable aspects of yourself and others. By applying this sensitivity you can act as an example bringing inspiration to being of service to your higher self. By not doing reality checks – practicing good communication skills you could fall prey to wanting to control indulging in righteous fashion.
Jupiter and Pallas Athena inconjunct Vesta
Social/Political – Yod or a “finger of god” fated aspect of great power. International beneficent forces and the power of the oppressed unite today to give birth to a new energy of service that could work on multi-levels: 1. Open new financial markets and opportunities for investments; 2. Allow yin and/or feminine service energies to accept help from the international community and create a birth of new powerful movement of empowerment for the oppressed and vulnerable; and 3. Create a new world-wide movement to free expression. The reverse could also be true on a lower vibrational scale – utilizing a power and money to suppress movements towards freedom.
Personal – Yod or a “finger of god” fated aspect of great power. By allowing for inspiration to occur without excessive grandiosity there can be a rebirth in friendships and intimate relationships. On the lower side – identifying and becoming attached to the need to be right, indecisive and rigid is a way to stop communication and put up walls. If you find this happening, go within and find the core of your innocent, remind yourself of what inspires you and how that inspiration is connected to others.
Inevitable Reductionistic Thinking Trying to explain consciousness from a neurobiological and / or a quantum physics frame is one of reductionistic directionality. Each discipline looks to the brain as the origin of consciousness. A human perspective quite naturally seeks to reduce in order to explain and this is natural from the ego perspective of control. Ego is the center of consciousness just as it was once thought that Earth was the center of the solar system – all planets and the sun revolved around Earth.
Consciousness is everywhere and permeates everything and the spaces between everything [see end note 1]. And therein lies the rub. Consciousness is space-time. It’s impossible to grasp from an ego or ordinary level of consciousness. This concept of consciousness is bigger than any concept. Even if consciousness was only a finite substance it would be impossible to jam it into something as small as a human brain.
Human Life as a Transceiver The human brain is a transceiver of consciousness in the current form of recycled thinking and memories that make a core attachment to a self in one lifetime. Short-term memory and habits built from long-term memory create attachment built on illusion of time and ego/self and are thought to be “real”.
When people die and leave their bodies they become a part of a larger consciousness but often do not directly perceive the larger consciousness due to their attachment to their most recent incarnate self. They live and function within this higher consciousness state that exists outside of time and space and yet has a relationship to time and space through the process of reincarnation. It’s very difficult for us as humans to perceive a level of functioning without time or space. Corporeal existence is predicated on the boundaries of space-time in a finite reality at least with immediate perceptions.
Evidence of evolving consciousness in the finite world may be impossible to measure, but it may be known in the consciousness state after death. In space-time we eat food to survive and maintain our bodies through digesting food and making energy. Where is the consciousness that is aware of the energy-making process from the digestion of food? It doesn’t ordinarily exist. The analogy here is the same as the absorption of energy into the state of “life-after-death”.
Conscious suffering (without attachment) creates energy
With work energy may be stored for a continued creation of energy
The energy is light.
Upon death energy or light is absorbed into the consciousness
Almost 100 percent of suffering is unconscious and is wasted. Attachment to suffering whether noble or ignoble (positive or negative) is nearly inconsequential with regard to making energy. Some individuals through fear and/or anger use up the energy needed to “cross” to “the other side” and so remain here as ghosts. Much of the love – light – energy created can be cancelled out by negative emotions preventing passage, but if enough light-energy remains a passage may occur to “the other side” [see end note 2]. Releasing attachment to suffering doesn’t mean that the suffering will not cause pain, anguish and grief to name a few. Also, there is no automatic release of energy from a release of attachment that floats into higher consciousness. If attachment is released and the ego gets hold of the sensation then talk about it inevitably follows (a different sort of attachment) and the energy is wasted.
Humans, Memory, Consciousness and Attachment Attachment is the block to enlightenment and is needed for enlightenment.
Attachment to thoughts and feelings that compose the consciousness of the core self may be the definition of the human self in corporeal form. Memory plays a key role in assisting and reinforcing attachment to a core self and / or ego. Formation of memories and our attachment to them give our identity a place in space-time. Memory is the foundation of linear time as our existence. Without attachment and memory there would be no sense of self and no time, at least as we currently define it. Attachment may not exist without memory, and consciousness is also bound by memory in our corporeal state.
Incarnation from one life to another is often an interruption of memory of a previous life or lives and those memories that immediately preceded birth. During the “life after death” process it could be that the attachment to the previous life is released enough so that an individual consciousness can separate from the whole and be reborn. It could be that no identity or a sketchy identity exists so that when conception occurs life before is either forgotten or obliterated. Or it could be that there may be conception trauma: a formless consciousness is suddenly attached to a fertilized egg and the resulting trauma severs the connection to all that happened before and to the larger formless consciousness.
Forgetting could serve a purpose of creating a new self not entirely based on old attachments and allowing an opportunity for energy to be created for higher consciousness.
The separation from a possible oneness sensation in higher consciousness in order to return to it after death allows spaces for energy to be formed and stored to be “eaten” by higher consciousness.
Humans are currently attached to the idea that we are humans and therefore the importance in being a human. Higher Consciousness allows humans to be created repeatedly through reincarnation with a hope that an awareness will grow into a force of consciousness while in human form to feed the higher and perhaps achieve enlightenment.
The nature of being human is to be attached. This is neither bad nor good. When we begin to become aware of our attachment and work on releasing it in the moment, knowing it will come back to us when we think or know ourselves – our ego – when we think or say: “I”, “me” “mine”. When repeated actions to release attachment occur through our work a greater awareness becomes available and eventually states of, or a continuum of enlightenment may manifest.
As humans in the current vibrational cycle on the low side in the chaos pattern of transformation the common belief is that we are all separate. The world right now is straining and breaking the concept of separateness so clues of unity are emerging and becoming evident. The reactions vary between optimism of the unknown and pessimism of the unknown thus the schisms in early 21st century culture and increases in separateness. Pessimism, unexamined or repressed/rationalized grief and disillusionment bring many fearful peoples cling to the illusion of separateness an every person for themselves ideology. While that is true from a limited finite mindset, the ideas of quantum mechanics are emerging from the background. One tenet of the quantum world is that consciousness creates the world around us and that matter and energy are connected. Knowing that we are not separate many save us from the existential world threat – or the extinction of the human and many other species.
Examining memory related illnesses can reveal how consciousness, memory and time are connected. Dementia and Alzheimer’s are clear examples of how persons with this disease lose their sense of self and time through savage memory losses. Dementia appears to be less savage than Alzheimer’s because a sense of self is maintained over a longer period in a variety of age regressive memories or sub-personalities. Alzheimer’s seems more aggressive because it destroys the memory of self much more quickly than dementia.
I had an opportunity to have lunch with a family where an elder male was in the middle to late stages of Alzheimer’s. At the time it didn’t feel like an opportunity but a battle for survival: mine. His personality was confused and frantic partially because there was no place in his body while in a crowded restaurant to find home. He repeatedly attacked my body’s perimeter. I had to coax him back into his own body. When we finally left the restaurant, he returned to near his own body and was lightly tethered there like a horse outside a saloon in an old western tv show. The attack was persistent, wild, chaotic, confused and desperate but not personal. I was firm in protecting my space and not letting him in and insistent on him going back to his body with some healing to help him stay.
The opportunity came after the incident in as much as there is an electromagnetic field that supports our neural net outside the brain. It is social and identifies with the safety of friends and family. His neural net was looking for home. He could not find it in his own family because they were emotionally chaotic within themselves due to his disease in the midst the chaos of the general business of the restaurant. He found it (home) in my calm demeanor as a healer and shaman.
Some end notes
Consciousness is everywhere.
Our brains and the perceptual facilities our brains, egos, memory and space-time affords us are the synaptic hubs where consciousness is processed through a biological human self.
From a larger perspective we sample each life from a large and formless consciousness that is infinite and feeds the individual in a finite context. This limited context is life as we ordinarily know it. When we can release our attachments to suffering and allow the friction of approach-avoidance conflicts inherent in all suffering to be released energy can be created and stored. It can be stored for the honing of consciousness within our biological human life form to be carried with us into the afterlife.
When we have created enough energy throughout many incarnations we then have a choice whether to return to life on Earth or continue the adventure of consciousness in the largest of venues – in the infinite.
In reality there is no space between objects that isn’t already connected via electromagnetic energy or by some other force to something else. The “space” within our arms for example is the space in atoms which can be perceived as a particle or wave depending how one perceives it.
Humanoid Consciousness expresses itself repeatedly through many lives in an effort to release the attachment to suffering and work to create energy. If the energy created is stored then its release happens upon death into a greater consciousness. If a person had stored a vast amount of light from the next to last or previous lives but had squandered energy in the most recent life – upon death they might have access to the deposits of light made in previous lifetimes. If that is the case they not only are able to cross over but may be released from “having to return” in another incarnation. Those that return by choice are often referred to as bodhisattvas.
taking the pressure off of going to sleep by going for optimal rest.
You’ve probably noticed the incredibly stressful world we now are required to function within at our best. There’s no way to maintain a stress-free life all together unless you engage in a prolonged meditation retreat – maybe. One of the best ways to cope with stress, anxiety, sadness or any other negative emotion is a multifaceted approach:
Tolerance – building a tolerance to stress and anxiety
Cultivating a compassionate neutral witness within
Meditation for an anchor to peacefulness / mindfulness throughout the day
Paying attention to and heeding our bodies
We put pressure on ourselves constantly. Some of this pressure is good when we need it to accomplish tasks and goals. Pressure becomes counterproductive when we threaten ourselves and our bodies with too much of it. This could be true of when we get ready to go to sleep at night; the pressure we’ve put on ourselves during the day spills over into the night and sleep becomes difficult and sometimes impossible. If we have chronic difficulties falling and staying asleep we may reach for prescription pharmaceuticals / supplemental sleep aids to fall and stay asleep, or we may use street drugs.
Taking downs to get off to sleep And ups to start you on your way After a while they’ll change your style I see it happening every day
Oh spare your heart Everything put together Sooner or later falls apart There’s nothing to it, nothing to it
The downs can easily translate into alcohol or a prescribed medication at night and coffee and/or energy drinks throughout the day.
After I became caffeine free the first time and my energy level balanced out I saw that coffee didn’t give me more energy, it just took the energy I had and bunched it up because there was always an inevitable crash. My sleep patterns were the worst for it too. Working swing shift and nights didn’t help either.
Then I began taking control of my sleep which meant taking control of other aspects of my life too:
The Ultimate Sleep Hack So Far
Change the name of going to sleep to Optimal Rest instead of pressure for sleep. If you fall asleep during your optimal rest period it’s a good bonus.
caffeine can disrupt your sleep up to 11 hours after you drink it
I’ve worked for over 20 years in the mental health field facilitating groups on relaxation, meditation, and sleep hygiene (no, this does NOT mean washing yourself while you sleep).
Sleep is part of a daily cycle. Children and teenagers need more sleep sometimes up to 10 or 11 hours. Adults average about 8 hours up to the age of 55. Those over the age of 55 can get by with less sleep – about 6 hours, yet 8 hours is still optimal. These figures are not set in stone and there are always exceptions to every “norm”.
Your bedroom should always be slightly on the cool side
Since the time of the industrial revolution mainly the advent of electric light and more recently television, computers, smart phones and the internet the natural rhythms of our bodies have been disrupted due to light pollution.
Immediate Preparations for Optimal Rest
Before Sleep – The Experts Report– Our bodies adjust to light dark cycles so if you’re having trouble sleeping at night you may want to consider making changes to your daily routine:
Exercise – in the morning or afternoon. Avoid exercise in the late evening especially when its dark (absence of sunlight). Exercising after sunset or in the dark can signal your body to become more awake or alert. Exercise is important for a good night’s sleep even if it is a short or long walk in the morning, afternoon or early evening.
Caffeine – The experts report that caffeine can affect your body and disrupt your sleep up to 11 hours after you drink it. This can affect your ability to fall asleep and your ability to stay asleep. If you’re on a daytime work schedule consider stopping all caffeinated beverages at 11 am. Some keen observations of the effects of caffeine backed by science basically report that stimulating the body takes the energy that one ordinarily has and pumps it up leading to an inevitable crash if too much is ingested.
Television, Smartphone or Computer/Tablet use – excites the brain. Sleep experts recommend to stop using these devices at least 2 hours before retiring.
Snacking – Sleep experts recommend that you wait 3 hours after eating to go to sleep for a better night’s sleep. Two factors are implicated in this suggestion. Because your metabolism slows at night our bodies have difficulty digesting food and sleeping. Also there is a nighttime body metabolism at work and eating right before bed can effect this metabolism and disrupt sleeping patterns.
A Technique – If you do sleep poorly and assuming your morning is sunny you can re-set your body clock by sitting in the sun from 40 to 60 minutes soon after you rise.
Sleeping Timing – experts suggest going to sleep at the same time each night. I have observed that this has to do with body memory. Disrupting body memory where we experience a burst of energy hurtling passed our ordinary bedtimes usually comes from caffeine or a late-night snack of sugary foods or refined carbohydrates.
No Alcohol Before Bedtime – I almost did not include this because many people already know that while alcohol can put you to sleep it can often wake you up several times during the night. A drink or a glass of wine or a beer with an early dinner is okay.
Minimize Electrical Gadgets in your Bedroom – a lamp is good with an incandescent bulb and is best for reading and a feeling of warmth. An alarm clock without excessive lights if you need one is okay but not an alarm on your electronic device. Watching television in-bed, surfing the net from your smartphone or tablet is bad for your sleep hygiene. Best to turn off your cell phone or tablet if you are keeping them in your bedroom.
Light and Temperature – Your bedroom should be as dark as possible, no light at all. But if you startle waking-up in a dark room, a light in a different room or a very dim nightlight is okay. If you have equipment such as a CPAP machine prescribed for your sleep then of course that’s okay. Your bedroom should always be slightly on the cool side, in summer and winter. Our body temperatures drop at night and by cuddling with ourselves under the covers we warm to an optimal sleeping temperature.
muse on your day, begin the letting go process
Sleep Position – The best positions for optimal rest and/or sleep is sleeping on your back*, left and / or right side. Sleeping on your back is best for your spine, neck and head less likely to experience pain. It helps lessen acid reflux with your head elevated on a pillow. *People with sleep apnea – sleeping on the back could be dangerous and lead the tongue to block your esophagus. Sleeping on your side is the popular position and reduces acid reflux. Snoring is reduced as well. Sleep on one’s side are the best positions for those with sleep apnea.
One to Three Hours Before Sleep – These are nightly rituals, that when I use them, they assist me in getting a better night’s sleep. Admittedly I don’t use them as much as I could. Before you begin Your Wind-Down sit with a pad (not an iPad, Tablet or Smartphone) and make a list of what you want to do tomorrow (if that’s your thing). Writing pen to paper is a way to disconnect from electronics and their effects.
Your Wind-Down – Begin with a hot beverage – an herbal tea, or warm milk, or A-Non-Alcoholic-Hot-Toddy-for-Sleep while sitting on your couch or in a favorite chair. As you begin to enjoy your beverage muse on your day, begin the letting go process. I spend at least five to ten minutes feeling the relief of putting the day into perspective and allowing the anticipation of surrender into sleep. Then I may engage in reading a book and / or listening to soft music, though this can also be done after bathroom prep – while in bed.
Bathroom Prep Before Bed and What Remains to do: Next take care of brushing your teeth and all those to-do things before lying down to engage in optimal rest. If you take medications or supplements that aid in you in resting / sleeping more effectively know that there is a 30 to 40-minute period of digestion before they take effect. If you take sleep aides and push yourself beyond the 30 to 40-minute digestive cycle the medications will either be less effective or won’t work at all.
By getting in bed at least during 30 to 40-minute period before closing your eyes, plan on reading, listening to music or doing some breath work, but ideally this should occur after taking medications and/or supplements.
LET GO AND BREATHE
Immediate Preparations for Optimal Rest
I may first intend that I will let go into sleep and sleep straight through the night without waking up, feeling refreshed in the morning upon awakening.
These other techniques can be used in preparations just prior to closing your eyes or if sleep doesn’t come.
The Body Clench – this is a systematic clench of muscle groups and their release in your body. Begin by scrunching up your feet and clenching your toes. Don’t let go. Next tighten your calf and thigh muscles, then tighten your butt muscles, your chest and abdomen. Next make fists and tighten the muscles in your forearms and biceps, stretch your neck by moving your head towards your chest and scrunch up the muscles in your face.
Then LET GO AND BREATHE.
The idea is to make your body tighter so you when you release the tight tense muscles also release and allows your body to move into a more relaxed state.
Don’t beat yourself up because you’re supposed to be sleeping.
Close your Eyes – (30 to 40 minutes after taking your medications and/or supplements) When you close your eyes there may be an automatic response for you to think about everything your worried about, or to criticize yourself in some way. Worry may manifest as thinking about something repeatedly (obsessing) – trying to figure it out. Or maybe you’re trying to solve a problem or review something that happened that day.
Let yourself do this for a few minutes. Make it okay. Don’t beat yourself up because you’re supposed to be sleeping even it goes on for five to ten minutes or so. Also you might want to engage in some soothing self-talk such as: “I’m a gentle person”, “I’m applying compassion towards myself first and then others” “I like _____ about myself” or think of a peaceful scene in nature – a sunset over a lake or behind a mountain, floating or flying over fields, seeing waves at the beach.
It’s okay… it’s okay… I’m safe. I can let go.
Then tell yourself that it time to dive deeper into optimal rest.
This process uses your attention to scan your body for any areas where your holding tension and imagine breathing them out (with your out-breath). Let go. Try being soft and easy with yourself as if you were holding an infant in your arms.
Next, focus on your breath. Usually, what happens when we begin to focus on our breath is that we take control. That’s okay. Breathing in this way soon becomes work. When you start to realize that it’s work, then begin to watch your breath as it moves in and out of your body without trying to control it. You’re just matching your thoughts with what’s happening in your body automatically, that can be a lot easier.
I may just practice watching my breath achieving optimal rest
Your mind may wander back to your negative or problem-solving thoughts without you realizing it. If this happens let them go and move back to your witness mind watching your breath. Sometimes a peaceful symbol – like looking at a mountain or waves crashing on a beach can be useful in releasing a worrisome thought. The rhythm of your breath is similar to waves coming to shore. As you imagine your breath like the waves you may feel the peace of waves as you picture them in your mind.
Focus on your breath in this way for at least 20 to 40 minutes. Usually what happens for me is I fall asleep, but I only know this has happened when I awaken the next morning. I realize I have released and fallen asleep.
Sometimes it doesn’t happen and I catch myself on the edge of letting go and pull myself back into a wakeful and circular thought process – a knee-jerk response. Here I may do some soothing self-talk (silently saying to myself):
“It’s okay… it’s okay… I’m safe. I can let go. I can be a deep diver. I can let go. I am letting go, letting go…”
If after 40 minutes to an hour and I’m awake I may just let myself be satisfied with continuing to watch my breath and drop into a deeper level of meditation. Or I may get up and go to the bathroom and return to bed and matching my thoughts with my breath.
Try being softer with yourself. Allow your mind’s awareness to meet the automatic rhythm of your breath. In, out, in, out…
* so far – meaning that as new information for a better sleep hack becomes available it will become an on-going ultimate sleep hack…